Dr. Richard Coutts is the orthopedic medical director for Sharp HealthCare
Dr. Richard Coutts, orthopedic medical director for Sharp HealthCare says, that you may be surprised to learn that osteoporosis can occur in almost any person, at any age. However, the key to prevention is a healthy lifestyle, and enough calcium and vitamin D.
What is Osteoporosis?
It is is a thinning of the bones and reduction in bone mass because of depletion of calcium and bone protein. This makes bones weaker and more likely to break. It is sometimes called a "silent disease" because there aren't any symptoms so that people are unaware they have weak bones until they experience a fracture, usually referred to as a fragility fracture.
He says that the diagnosis of osteoporosis in men often gets overlooked. Risk factors have been linked to osteoporosis in men, including certain, chronic diseases, regular use of some medications, undiagnosed low levels of. testosterone, age and race. Also important considerations are smoking, excessive alcohol use, low calcium intake and inadequate physical exercise. A comprehensive list of risk factors, health conditions and medications that increase a man's risk of developing osteoporosis is available at the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
He suggests possible prevention or treatment approaches to include calcium and/or vitamin D supplements and regular physical activity. If osteoporosis is the result of another condition (such as testosterone deficiency) or exposure to certain other medications, such as cortisone, the treatment plan would need to address the underlying cause.
Coutts says that is no cure for osteoporosis; however, there are steps one can take to prevent, slow or stop its progression.
He says that, in some cases, one may even be able to improve bone density and reverse the disorder to some degree. He says, " I can't stress enough the importance of a healthy lifestyle to preserve bone health. It's important to get enough calcium and vitamin D and do regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises to help protect your bones and avoid smoking and alcohol abuse".
DR. RICHARD COUTTS
Union Tribune Health Section
4 May 2012